September 29, 2023
Green-led vote against people’s right to access their heritage is ‘lamentable’ – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

(Gaeilge thíos)

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Gaeilge, Gaeltacht, Arts and Culture, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, condemned as ‘lamentable’ the decision by Green Party Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, supported by his Government colleagues in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, to vote down efforts to enshrine the people’s right to access heritage as a principle in the Historic and Archaeological Heritage and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2023.

The amendment (No. 36) would have required any person performing a function under the new Bill to recognise and take due account of the principle “that the people have a right to appreciate, view and learn from their heritage”.

It also proposed to vindicate existing rights of way to heritage, and that where possible, new rights of way should be established to monuments where they currently are none, with a view to further advancing the right of the people to access their heritage.

Teachta Ó Snodaigh said:

“It’s a sad day when the Green Party are the reason the principle of people having a right to heritage is not included in the biggest reform of heritage legislation for twenty years. There’s nothing in the Bill about improving public access at all!

“Sinn Féin offered Minister of State Malcolm Noonan two opportunities, both at Committee and then Report Stage in the Dáil, to put the right of access at the heart of the new Heritage Bill, but on both occasions there was no willingness to engage on this point.

“My Sinn Féin colleagues raised spoke cases from right across the state where access to heritage is a real issue. Réada Cronin passionately invoked the public outcry over attempts to restrict public entry to Castletown House in North Kildare, while Johnny Guirke highlighted that one of the largest tombs at Loughcrew Cairn has been closed to the public since 2018.

“This simply is not good enough. The Proclamation of 1916 sets out the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and that must also extend to the heritage of Ireland as the product of the labour, craftsmanship and talent of our forebearers, to be protected as the inheritance of generations still to come and to be enjoyed and learned from in the here and now.

“While the Bill set to become law is a welcome improvement on the existing framework, and while we welcome Minister Noonan’s moves to address Sinn Fein’s demands for battlefields, linguistic heritage, archaeological objects related to historic periods and subjects, and the amenity value of a monument’s setting, it is clear that a change in Government is needed if we want to see core issues like public access and expert oversight put to the fore.

“Sinn Féin will continue to stand up for Ireland’s heritage.”

‘Truamhéalach’: Vóta faoi threoir na Glasaigh i gcoinne cearta rochtana an phobail dá n-oidhreacht – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

‘Truamhéalach’ a thug urlabhraí Gaeilge, Gaeltachta, Ealaíon agus Cultúir Shinn Féin, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, ar chinneadh an Aire Stáit Oidhreachta de chuid an Chomhaontas Glas, Malcolm Noonan, le tacaíocht óna chomhghleacaithe Rialtais i Fianna Fáil agus Fine Gael, vótáil chun stop a chur le hiarrachtaí cearta an phobail rochtain a bheith acu ar a gcuid oidhreacht a chur isteach mar phrionsabal i mBille na hOidhreachta Stairiúla agus Seandálaíochta agus Forálacha Ilghnéitheacha 2023.

Faoin leasú seo (Uimh. 36), bheadh dualgas ar aon duine ag feidhmiú de réir an Bhille nua an prionsabal a aithint agus a thabhairt san áireamh go bhfuil sé de cheart ag an pobal breathnú ar, foghlaim ó, agus tuiscint a chothú dá gcuid oidhreacht.

Moladh freisin ann gur chóir cearta slí don oidhreacht a chosaint, agus más féidir, cearta slí nua a bhunú i gcás leachtanna nach bhfuil ceann ann cheana, ar mhaitheas le cearta an phobail rochtain a bheith acu ar a gcuid oidhreacht a chur chun cinn.

Dúirt an Teachta Ó Snodaigh:

“Lá brónach atá ann nuair is iad an Comhaontas Glas is cúis nach bhfuil an prionsabal go bhfuil cearta ag daoine i leith a n-oidhreacht san áireamh sa leasú is mó ar an reachtaíocht oidhreachta le fiche bliain anuas. Níl faic ann faoi rochtain an phobail a fheabhsú ar chor ar bith!

“Thug Sinn Féin an deis don Aire Stáit Malcolm Noonan faoi dhó, sa Choiste agus ag Céim na Tuarascála sa Dáil, an ceart rochtana a chur ag croílár an Bhille nua Oidhreachta, ach ní raibh sé de thoil acu éisteacht linn ceachtar uair.

“D’ardaigh mo chomhghleacaithe Sinn Féin cásanna ó gach chearn den stáit ina bhfuil rochtain oidhreachta ina chnámh spáirne. Labhair Réada Cronin go paiseanta faoin raic a tharraing an pobal i dtuaisceart Chill Dara nuair a rinneadh iarracht bac a chur ar dhaoine dul go Teach Bhaile an Chaisleáin, agus luaigh Johnny Guirke go bhfuil ceann de na tuamaí is mó i gCairn Lough Craobh dúnta ón phobail ó 2018.

“Níl sé seo maith go leor. Leagann Forógra 1916 amach ceart mhuintir na hÉireann ar dhílse na hÉireann, agus ba chóir go gcuimseodh sé sin oidhreacht na hÉireann mar thoradh ar shaothar, cheardaíocht agus bhua ár sinsir, le bheith cosanta mar oidhreacht na nglúnta fós le teacht agus le bheith ar fáil don taithneamh agus don foghlaim sa lá atá inniu ann.

“Cé gur dul chun cinn atá sa Bhille atá le hachtú ar an gcreatlach reatha, agus in ainneoin go gcuirimid fáilte roimh iarrachtaí an Aire Noonan chun éilimh Shinn Féin mar gheall ar láithreáin catha, oidhreacht teangeolaíocha, rudaí seandálaíochta a bhaineann le ré nó ábhar stairiúla, agus luach comhthéacs leachta mar áis, a shásamh, is léir go dteastaíonn athrú Rialtais más mian linn na bunrudaí ar nós rochtain an phobail nó maoirseacht saineolach a chur chun tosaigh.

“Coinneoidh Sinn Féin linn ag seasamh suas d’oidhreacht na hÉireann.”

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